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I have a 8 year old lab that is a stay in the house and sleep all day dog. She had gained a lot of weight...so I had switched her food to the Royal Canin yellow Lab to help manage her weight. She has been loosing some weight since then about 3 months ago. But on the other hand I took her in for her annual shots and check up and she weighed 109 pounds! I have been walking her everynight for about 20 minutes so she gets the exercise cause I dont want to do too much at first. Any Suggestions on a different way to help her loose the weight?

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Just like with humans, it is the total amount of calories that a dog takes in and expends that causes weight gain or loss. If they are taking in more calories than they are using up then they will gain weight. I would simply cut down the total number of calories you feed her per day, especially at the age of 8 years. It will help her live longer and really help her deal with any arthritis as she ages.

The total amount you feed her depends on what the total caloric content of the food is. For instance, a cup of ice cream is more fattening than a cup of veggies. My spayed female labrador eats a total of 1-1/4 cups of her food per day and actually gained weight on that over the wintertime. She's on a diet now, and increased exercise. ;) LOL You can actually replace a portion of her regular food with things like green beans to allow her to feel "full" but without all of the hidden calories, too.

Good luck!
 

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How much and what are you feeding her?

I agree with what was said above, but I also think in your case she needs more exercise. At 8 years old she is far from being over the hill and they will only get lazy if you let them. I know many old dogs (older than 8 ) who get at least one hour or more of off leash walking per day. For the average dog, 20 minutes of walking per day is not enough, so I suggest you try and build up the distance you go for and work from there. I would walk not once but TWICE per day, 20 minutes each, off leash being preferable because she gets to do her own thing. If off leash is not an option, I would try walking her on a Flexi at her own pace.
 

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Frosty said:
I have a 8 year old lab that is a stay in the house and sleep all day dog. She had gained a lot of weight...so I had switched her food to the Royal Canin yellow Lab to help manage her weight. She has been loosing some weight since then about 3 months ago. But on the other hand I took her in for her annual shots and check up and she weighed 109 pounds! I have been walking her everynight for about 20 minutes so she gets the exercise cause I dont want to do too much at first. Any Suggestions on a different way to help her loose the weight?

Thanks
Has she had a thyroid panel done recently?
 

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She is fed 2 times a day for a total of 4 cups of food and the recommened amount for this food is 5 1/2 cups a day. The top 5 ingrediaents is Chicken meal, Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Oatmeal and Barley. It is formulated to helpwith the Labrador metobolism , weight control and muscle toner. I live in a small residentail area so she cant be off leash but i will try with the expandable leash so that way she can walk her pace.Thanks again for your resposes!
 

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Frosty said:
She is fed 2 times a day for a total of 4 cups of food and the recommened amount for this food is 5 1/2 cups a day.
A feeding "guideline" printed on the outside of a bag of dog food usually runs a bit higher than a dog usually needs, and it is typically a recommendation for a young, healthy adult and at "ideal" body weight.

For instance, my spayed female, who is 3 years old, only gets maximum 1.5 cups/day TOTAL of the food she is fed. She gained weight even on that over the winter. The "guidelines" recommend that she be fed about twice that much. ;)

I agree with the thyroid testing as well. Hypothyroidism is extremely common in older labradors, and can be a major contributor to obesity.
 

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I agree with what Julie/CLL said.

I think you need to cut back. 4 cups is a lot for a dog who is quite inactive. Heck, that is more than my very active dogs usually get. ;)

You could probably get away with feeding an inactive dog 2-2.5 cups per day, but you don't want to cut her intake too drastically otherwise she will start feeling very hungry. So for now, I would cut back to 3 cups per day, 1.5 AM and PM, and then do two of those 20 minute walks every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have never had her thyroid checked out. What are the steps to doing it and what kind of testing does it involve? And how long also?
 

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Frosty said:
I have never had her thyroid checked out. What are the steps to doing it and what kind of testing does it involve? And how long also?
Thyroid levels are checked by your veterinarian through bloodwork- I would definitely recommend that the levels be sent to an outside lab (ie- not "in house") with a "thyroid panel." Usually, you can get results within a couple of days.
 

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I agree that the recommended amounts on the dog food bags are usually grossly inflated, some much more grossly than others.

For daily exercise, my Puff gets an early morning hour walk (6:30 AM) offleash in a nearby nature preserve and she gets 30+ retrieves. In midafternoon she gets a few more retrieves to facilitate pooping, and then late at night a walk to promote some last pees.

Puff's usual weight is 62-63 lbs. but I fed her a few too many treats for too long and she got up to 67.5 lbs so I'm cutting back slightly on her usual 1 1/4 cups 2X/day of Kirkland C&R (362 kcals/cup); she now gets 1 1/16 cup 2X/day.

I suspect the amount you're feeding is far too much and the exercise she's getting far too little.
 
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